LYON, France – Interpol launched a worldwide appeal to the public Tuesday to help identify a man suspected of sexually abusing young boys from Southeast Asia – hoping the rare move will lead to a quick arrest.
It was only the second time that the international police agency has appealed directly to the public for help in identifying a suspected pedophile. An arrest was made shortly after the first time last October.
The suspect in the latest case is a white man, shown with gray, thinning hair in photos released by Interpol. He appeared to be in his late 40s or early 50s in the images.
Interpol said that despite two years of investigations, it and other police agencies have been unable to determine his identity, nationality or whereabouts – hence the decision to appeal publicly for information.
“The law enforcement community around the world has done all it can to find this man who clearly presents a danger to young children, and we are now asking the public to help identify this predator and protect other potential victims from abuse,” Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble said in a statement.
In interviews at the agency’s headquarters in Lyon, France, Interpol officials said they had recovered photos of the man that allegedly show him sexually abusing at least three boys, apparently between the ages of 6 and 10. The boys appear to be from Southeast Asia – though Interpol officials declined to specify any possible countries.
Kristin Kvigne, assistant director of Interpol’s division that combats people trafficking, said it was impossible to know how many other children the man could have abused.
“There are at least three child victims that are in the images, but it could be more,” she said in an interview.
Kvigne said the photos show “severe abuse” by the man, but she declined to go into detail.
Police first became aware of the suspect in March 2006, when photos of him were found on the computer hard-drive of a man arrested in Norway who was later convicted on pedophilia-related charges, Interpol said.